If you ski, skate and sled, winter can be great fun. If you're on your way to an important meeting or a cocktail party, winter can be your biggest obstacle to looking great. To help you get a mitten up on some winter beauty woes, we asked the experts for advice.
No More Hat Head:
New York City stylist Christo says winter is a good time to make friends with your hair products. Better yet, introduce yourself to some new ones. "People should think of products as tools," he says. "The way you keep hair looking great, no matter what the weather, is to apply the right styling product." If you're prone to hat head or hair that flattens on your scalp, apply a volumizing mousse in the morning. Style as usual, and when you remove your hat, turn your head upside down and massage your scalp, reactivating the product, which will lift your hair.
Long-Lasting Nail Enamel:
It takes longer to dry nail polish in winter, according to Jan Arnold, cofounder of Creative Nail Design. "Don't run outside after a manicure," she says. "Warm freshly polished nails first, even if it's just by the heat of a lightbulb."
Dry Skin Reliever:
Cold air is dry and drying, sucking moisture from both your skin and scalp, says Christo. (Dry scalp can cause flaking that looks like dandruff.) To offset the effects of the cold, invest in a humidifier for your bedroom, he suggests. "The moisture it provides will make a difference in keeping your skin hydrated."
Flaky Scalp Cure:
Besides using a humidifier at night to prevent dry scalp, you can also change your habits in the shower, says aesthetician Susie Galvez. "Make sure your shampoo is pH-balanced to keep your scalp normalized," she advises. "Also, shampoo less often. Water is drying to the scalp too."
Most people have to deal with chapped lips at least once a season. The first rule, according to Galvez: Don't lick your lips outside. "When saliva evaporates from your lips, it takes your lips' natural moisture with it," she explains. Look for a moisturizing lip balm to wear whenever you're outside, she suggests. If your lips are already chapped, use a medicated balm containing aloe and ingredients such as menthol and camphor, which are soothing.
Take the Static Out:
Don't brush or comb your hair more than absolutely necessary, recommends stylist Stacia Schrecengost. Sometimes you can stop static frizz by spraying your comb with a product like Static Guard and lightly running it through your hair after styling and before applying hair spray. You can use it inside hats and hoods too.
Control Frizzy Curls:
Undefined, out-to-there curls are no fun, so Schrecengost suggests you control frizz by using a curl activator. "A curl activator defines the curls but doesn't make them hard and crunchy when dry," she says. "Put a nice-sized dollop in your hands and make sure it gets from the roots to the ends. This way it will coat each hair strand and give it control. Let your hair air-dry, and then gently loosen the curls with your fingers."
Condition, Condition, Condition:
In winter it's especially important to deep-condition your hair once a week, says Christo. It will help prevent frizz, flyaways and split ends. Your best bet? "Look for a product that contains proteins," he recommends.